You often hear people moaning about how hard it is being sick when you’ve got kids and I’ll admit, it is not easy. We’ve had our fair share of bad luck in that respect, recently. We just experienced 10 weeks straight of illness. It started in September with all four of us getting a stomach bug, which kicked off in a car park when the Bear asked for a cuddle and then projectile vomited all over me and anything within a 3 foot radius. It wasn’t pretty. As is always the case with parents, I had a spare set of clothes for him but not for me. It was grim, I stank but as I was strapping Bear into the car seat to go home he said that he’d ‘had a nice time in the car park, Mummy’. I bloody love that kid. Only my Bear could still be happy after throwing up in a car park. Only he’d think that was a good day out. All of a sudden, I didn’t care that I was covered in his puke. It’s the puke of a real life angel.
In the days that followed, we all got the bug and that was just the start. Since that day, my children between them have had a chest infection, chicken pox, Hand, Foot & Mouth, another chest infection (which took 2 lots of antibiotics and steroids) and diarrhoea back to back. And let’s not forget the devil that is teething.
Other than the initial family stomach bug, I managed to escape unscathed. Or so I thought until last Monday when I got painful stomach cramps and a terrible feeling that ‘something bad was coming’ – imagine that being said by Jon Snow for dramatic purposes.
As usual, I was right (just once it would’ve been nice to be wrong) and I’ve spent an entire week on the loo and unable to eat. (It’s quite ironic really, after my last post about not having a village to support us). It’s been tricky but the small ones have been amazingly caring and so patient. One lunchtime their meal consisted of a brioche roll and a stick of cheese. It was all I could manage and I felt absolutely awful. They, on the other hand, thought it was great. “Picnic”, shouted Bear. “Eeeeee”, shouted Bunni. Not much of a picnic babes but whatever works for ya.
The bed/bath saga is the hardest part when you feel like you’ve died and been back dug up. Hauling my rank carcass up the stairs, behind my happy, screeching beastlies, while knowing what chaos lay ahead was draining but we muddled on and each night, somehow, they were bathed and read to and we were all in bed by 7pm. Huzzah. Not so scary after all.
It’s times like these when you want someone to step in and parent you. You know, give you sympathy and drinks and blankets and treat you like your five again, until the poorlies go away. But that’s not real life and when I started to feel a bit sorry for myself I remembered the Mum’s and Dad’s getting up and dealing with life with kiddies while battling cancer or MS or depression and then I just kind of felt like a bit of a div. Yes, it’s crap to have the craps but it will pass (although I’d like to know when that will be) and when it does, I will be perfectly fine and my family will be intact. There’s no worry or turmoil – unless you count the stress of working out if I can make it to school and back without a whoopsie – and so really, what this bout of being rough has taught me is to be grateful and humble about my health and thankful for the wonderful NHS who treated my babies over the past 10 weeks. We have had bad luck but it hasn’t been life changing. Nothing has altered, we’re all still here and for that I know I am blessed.
So yeah, being ill with kids sucks and we all moan about it. But next time you’re crapping through the eye of a needle and thinking ‘why me?’, spare a thought for the Mum hooked up to chemo hoping she gets to spend another Christmas with her babies or the Dad who is struggling to get out of bed in the morning to play with his kids because of the overwhelming sense of despair that darkens his every thought and threatens to take him away from them. So be grateful not whiny.
That being said, I’m off to the loo. Sorry for the info. You’re welcome.